Via Robert Gehl:
Tennessee Republican Diane Black came up with the idea while at a security checkpoint in the Nashville airport. She left her driver license at home, but had her handgun permit.
The permit included her photo, full name, date of birth and was embossed with the state seal and a hologram, the Knoxville News is reporting.
But when she presented the id to the TSA official, it was rejected. It was not one of the “acceptable” forms of identification.
“I was really taken aback,” Black said. “I knew it had all of the information on it that is required for identification.”
Black was able to go through security and get on her plane after showing the security agent her congressional voting card. But the experience left her curious about why some forms of identification are acceptable while others are not and made her determined to correct what she considered a double standard.
Now. Rep. Black has introduced legislation that would permit Americans to use handgun carry permits as permissible identification for boarding a plane. There’s no valid reason they shouldn’t be accepted, as they’re government-issued ID.
Besides, it would totally rankle Democrats.
“If you can use your Costco card, why can’t you use your gun carry permit?” Black said, referring to news reports that detailed how a writer managed to get through airport security by showing agents her Costco membership card.
The Transportation Security Administration lists on its website more than a dozen forms of identification that are accepted at airport checkpoints. Besides driver’s licenses and passports, other permissible forms of identification include military ID’s, tribal-issued photo identification cards, permanent resident cards and border-crossing cards.
“A weapon permit is not an acceptable form of identification,” the website notes, using italics for emphasis.
A TSA spokeswoman did not respond to questions about why a gun permit isn’t acceptable identification. She also would not discuss Black’s bill, saying the agency doesn’t comment on proposed legislation.
Black, whose 6th Congressional District spans a good portion of Middle Tennessee, said she has had a handgun permit for more than five years and has been able to use it as an ID in other settings, such as cashing a check in a store.
While she understands the need for stringent airport security, she said she doesn’t understand why her gun permit would not be acceptable to the TSA. She suspects it has something to do with what she considers the Obama administration’s hostility toward gun owners and Second Amendment rights.
Her bill asks only that handgun permit holders be allowed to use the license as identification, not that they be allowed to carry weapons onto planes.
Gun permits vary from state to state, and only those that include a photo and other identifying information, such as the permit holder’s full legal name and date of birth, would be accepted by the TSA under Black’s legislation.
“If it meets the criteria and someone wants to use that, I see no reason why they shouldn’t be able to,” she said.
She’s not the only one who feels that way. In May, the Texas House of Representatives passed a resolution calling on Congress to instruct the TSA to accept concealed handgun carry permits as valid forms of identification.
Black’s bill has been referred to the House Committee on Homeland Security. The bill has just five co-sponsors — one is U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Brentwood Republican — but Black said she hasn’t yet made much of a push to get other lawmakers on board. She intends to ask other House members to sign onto the legislation early next year so she can begin pushing for a hearing, she said.
“It’s a very justifiable bill,” she said, one that honors “our Second Amendment rights.”